house·​carl ˈhau̇s-ˌkär(-ə)l How to pronounce housecarl (audio)
: a member of the bodyguard of a Danish or early English king or noble

Word History


Old English hūscarl, from Old Norse hūskarl, from hūs house + karl man; akin to Old English ceorl churl

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of housecarl was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near housecarl

Cite this Entry

“Housecarl.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

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